Finalist for Directors Showcase Category
2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition
Bwakaw is a drama-comedy about growing old, and everyone’s fear of growing old alone. Rene is a gay man who came out of the closet at age 70. Ailing in his twilight years, he thinks it is now too late for love, even companionship, and that all there is to look forward to is Death. He has made a will, bequeathing his few possessions to his even fewer friends. Everything is packed and labeled, ready for distribution. He has even paid for a coffin, taking advantage of a funeral home’s Summer Sale. Nowadays the only companion Rene has is Bwakaw, a stray dog that hangs around his house and follows him wherever he goes. As Rene waits for the day of his death, he gets the surprise of his life when it is Bwakaw who suddenly falls ill and is diagnosed with cancer. Rene is surprisingly affected, and he realizes that he values Bwakaw more than he thinks. In his struggle to get Bwakaw cured, Rene finds comfort in the most unlikely person: Sol, a tricycle driver who helps him bring Bwakaw to the vet and befriends him. Buoyed by Sol’s friendship, Rene starts living. Little by little he discovers simple joys. To the surprise of his friends, he even has his hair dyed to look younger. One day, he finally decides to make a move on Sol. The revelation that Rene is gay and has feelings for him surprises and disgusts Sol. He rejects Rene and leaves in anger. In the meantime, Bwakaw’s condition gets worse. Not even Rene’s ancient Santo Entierro (a supposedly miraculous statue of Jesus Christ) can save Bwakaw. Bwakaw dies, and Rene’s neighbors help him bury the faithful dog. But Bwakaw’s death, even while it was still only imminent, has made a difference. Rene has found a new appreciation for life and what is most important. He decides to unpack the things that he has already willed to other people and make his house more inhabitable. He is, after all, still alive.
Playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Jun Robles Lana is the youngest Filipino to be inducted in the Palanca Literary Awards Hall of Fame. His debut screenplay “Sa Pusod Ng Dagat” (In the Navel of The Sea) directed by his mentor Marilou Diaz-Abaya premiered at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival and also won him the Best Screenplay Award from the 1998 Brussels International Film Festival. Since then he has worked on mainstream and independent projects, as screenwriter for landmark films such as Jose Rizal and Muro Ami and as director/creative producer for Regal Films on projects such as Kulam, Tarot and My Neighbor’s Wife. He is presently the creative director of the drama department of GMA Television Network.
Cast: Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Soliman Cruz, Bibeth Orteza, Joey Paras, Alan Paule, Beverly Salviejo, Soxie Topacio, Luz Valdez, Gardo Versoza, Ms. Armida Siguion-Reyna, Jonathan Neri, Ronaldo Bertubin, May-I Fabros and introducing Princess as Bwakaw.
Production: Sound-Albert Michael Idioma
Production Design-Joey Luna
Editing-Lawrence S. Ang
Music-Jema Pamintuan & Jeff Hernandez
Story and Screenplay-Jun Robles Lana
Line Producer-Tonee Acejo
Producer Antonio P. Tuviera
Executive Producers Ramel David, Joselito Oconer & Michael Tuviera, Executive Producers Perci Intalan & Jun Robles Lana
Director JUN ROBLES LANA, DGPI